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What happens at your first appointment?

For many of our families, the first time they ever step foot in a funeral directors’ is soon after a loved-one has died and they begin the process of arranging their funeral. While the immediate few days after a death are unsettling and can feel quite unreal, we know that many people feel nervous about coming into a funeral directors’ building for the first time. We completely understand that, so here are some words which we hope might put your mind at rest a little.

Of course, before you first visit us, you will have been through the initial process of finding a funeral director and making those first phone calls. If you decide to call our team at Tester & Jones – then we are available 24 hours a day and somebody from our team, a real person not somebody in a call centre, will answer your call.

There’s no hurry though. Whatever time of the day the death has happened, you don’t have to rush. You will probably be exhausted, so there’s no problem sitting to reflect for a while or having a cup of tea or even going back to bed, if it’s night time. However, whatever time you call us and, from then onwards, we will be by your side.

We will arrange for your loved-one to be brought to our premises, where they will be looked after with dignity and care, regardless of what type of funeral you opt for.

Soon after, we will make an appointment for you to come into our office for a chat and to start making arrangements. We are not sure what you expect a funeral directors office to look like, but families are often surprised that our building is light, airy and welcoming. We have a couple of comfortable lounges, where you will be invited to sit on a sofa and we’ll offer you a cup of tea or coffee.

Some of our families might already have a funeral plan in place and their loved one could have planned their own funeral or you might have very clear ideas about how you’d like it to be. However, if a death is sudden or you haven’t discussed arrangements with your loved one, you might feel completely unprepared. Whatever the situation is, we will support you.

Our team knows exactly what steps are necessary to plan a funeral, who needs to be called and what arrangements need to be in place. You will have decisions to make but we will guide you through those and take away some of the strain.

Some families are nervous that they will be shown coffins and the whole process will feel a little scary. This isn’t the case though. We will certainly talk you through what coffins are available and we can show you photos and, if you’d like, there’s a separate room with examples of coffins and ashes containers. But it’s your choice about what you want to see.

We’ll talk you through the various choices, including:

· The type of funeral and where you want to hold it.

· Potential dates at the crematorium or other building.

· Putting you in touch with a local minister or a celebrant, who can help you plan the service itself.

· The type and design of order of service you’d like, as well as accompanying stationery, such as thank you cards.

· Whether you’d like the funeral listed on our website with a link to make a donation to a chosen charity.

· The type of transport you’ll require.

· Whether you’d like the service live-streamed and/or recorded.

Some of these choices will be made at your appointment, while you will be given a little time to think about other decisions.

The important thing to note is that every funeral we arrange is different and we’ll take onboard your requests and ideas to make a funeral which best represents your loved one.

If, reading this, you feel you’d like to discover more about what we do and who we are, you can always drop into our office for a chat and a cup of tea.

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